VestPac - A little background . . .
VestPac, Inc. is the brainchild of Jackson, Wyoming native Scott Shepherd. While skiing Jackson Hole Scott realized that his hydration system constantly froze up on him and access to all the electronic items we can't live without were extremely cumbersome to get to even with today's advances in apparel. So, he took it upon himself to create an 'Underpac," as Scott describes it to alleviate these common problems.
While wearing his prototype skiing, he received countless comments on the invention from thirsty skiers and gear fumblers. Scott adapted his idea to fishing the rivers and lakes of Wyoming, then kayaking, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, biking, running, hiking, birding, shooting and well just generally being in the outdoors. VestPac was a finalist for "Best New Gear" award this year and at last month's International Sportsmen's Exposition in Salt Lake City the gadget Pac was a huge success, selling out of all on-hand Pacs by the end of the show.
VestPac's success is attributed to its comfortable form-fitting design, athletic grade construction built to move with you during the most vigorous activity, while the 3D Airmesh material is so flexible and soft, it barely feels like you are wearing it. As an "Underpack" VestPac can be worn underneath your ski jacket with no fear of being uncomfortable. No more frozen hydration tubes, frozen iPods and your favorite electronics' batteries last longer. The best part is that it can be switched out to accommodate any activity in about 20 seconds with its modular design. Using VestPac, has expanded its uses for me exponentially.
Some Ways I Have Personally Used my VestPacs . . .
First, while fly fishing I used the DriftPac to keep all of my flies, boxes, leaders, thermometer, forceps, lines and everything else easy to reach, and I was comfortable and hydrated standing in my waiters because of the 1 liter of water that was on my back. No need to use lanyards and other cryptic inventions to tote your gear, VestPac can do it, and do it well. With built in tippets and retractable zingers this front is definitely one of my favorites, and is sure to be a staple of the angler world in the months to come. Check out the props from the ISE show 2011 here brought to by the guys from Fly Fishing Frenzy.
Second, while kayaking I used the WilsonPac with VestPac's compact dry bags to hold my phone, GPS, camera, and iPod right on the front of my PFD using the Monostrap accessory. The best thing about the combination of drybag and VestPac is that the once dreaded camera or phone swim is a thing of the past when rolling your boat, or having to bail, because everything is secured, and VestPac's drybags are waterproof up to 10 feet! These are not the so-called "Dry Bags" you see that will keep your stuff dry from splashes, these are submergible bags, compact and made to work with VestPac fronts. There is even an mp3 bag with a 2.5mm jack and VestPac makes "Dry Buds," waterproof ear buds for your mp3 player.
Third, I started Stand-Up Paddleboarding last summer and realized right away the need for some sort of gadget pack to hold my phone, iPod and water. Moreover, a lot of the time I go out by myself with no place to keep my KEYS, and trust me people are hip to the old - leave the key on the front wheel or in your Thule rack somewhere - trick. Very few models of SUP boards have places to deck anything and wearing a backpack can be hot. Moreover, on windy days any extra baggage can work against you on SUP boards. I used the TetonPac, which becomes the utility, lifeline, and hydration necessary for staying on your SUP for extended periods of time worry-free.
True story: A friend broke his mast while windsurfing last summer. He was raging through the ocean at high speeds, hit a wave, and tried to stick a landing and wound up sticking his knee into part of the shattered mast. He was not prepared with any means of communicating to someone that he was in trouble. It was a "scorcher" that day, as he put it, and although he was experienced, he was too far out to swim against the current with a banged up knee. All he had on was his boardshorts, desperately trying to surf paddle back in with no luck. He waded around on his board for almost an hour before a fishing boat scooped him up thankfully.
A lot of this blunder was probably due to him not being prepared, and not respecting mother nature. He came out of it with a sunburn and a chipped knee cap, but having a radio, phone, or at least some water would have been a total lifesaver in that situation. I'm not saying that VestPac will save your life, but it may keep you calm when unforeseen accidents happen.
Fourth, using the VestPac is awesome for hiking - wearing it underneath your hiking pack is no problem at all. In fact it adds a little cushion to your load and keeps air circulating between the sweat-zone - the area between your back and your pack - with VestPac's Airmesh. I used the JacksonPac with its two pocket cinch flaps and I also strapped one to my dog Jack using the Monostrap just to see what other uses I could get out of this gadget pack. He pretty much goes with the flow and was totally fine with it. Now I just have to teach him to use the hydration hose and he'll be set.
Lastly, skiing with the GranitePac was one of those moments where you say to yourself, "Why didn't I think of that." It's so simple and yet so innovative at the same time. My iPod Touch did not freeze and go technicolor screen on me even at higher altitudes because it was close to my body. After hiking a ridge, I was noticeably dryer and cooler having the placement of the Pac circulating air on my back. Ski pass was easier to scan since the GranitePac has two see through vinyl pockets on the front. Unzip jacket a little bit, scan and I was on my way.
I even used my iPhone with the speakerphone on the chairlift just to push the boundaries of what my VestPac can do. I kind of felt like C3PO while doing it, and it was refreshingly easy to get to. The best way to use your smart phone with VestPac is to use VestPac's mp3 drybag with built in input - have your playlist dialed in on your smart phone and use the microphone equipped headphones that come with most smart phones now to switch from music to answering calls. Then when you get a call simply answer and use the mic on the headphones. A lot of apparel companies have mp3 pockets, but they freeze your phones and mp3 players and are a real pain to get to. VestPac is chest ready, easy access, and comfort all in one.